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The Gasp Menagerie – Sexual Spirits: Myth or Reality?

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There’s an incubus ravaging an area of Kenya, according to a news report. The Nairobian tells us of a woman who has confessed to an affair of sorts. Vacillating between confessing the spirit’s skill as a lover and calling the incidents rape, the story details that many houses in this part of Mombasa are haunted, and many women have reported unwanted sexual encounters by shadow beings. Large, male shadow beings.

Incubi (as well as their female counterparts, Succubi) are subjects you don’t see discussed much in paranormal circles. The obvious sexual taboos are part of that, clearly, but it goes deeper. While evil spirits that prey on victims sexually have existed in most cultures for thousands of years, we know now in the age of civilization that all-too-often these tales have been used to cover up illicit sexual activity or, worse, sexual abuse.

Incubi / Sucubi

The story is usually something like this: The victim are asleep and then awakened by a figure who joins them in bed and then proceeds to either seduce or just sexually assault them outright. These beings are almost always the opposite gender, even though I’ve read of cases of same-gender incidents. (Again, almost always cover-ups for same-sex sexual abuse.) In Western cultures they have been romantacized a bit to include the seduction aspect, even meeting the victim in a social situation before sealing the deal and draining a bit of life force from them like a sexual lamprey.

What’s interesting there is how that description swerves into several other facets of paranormal activity. The fact that the occurrences happen in bed swings into “old hag” or sleep paralysis territory. The draining of life force is extremely similar to vampire lore, with a sexual seduction often worked into modern tales of vampiric attacks. One can almost look through the curtains of lore from the past and see how other legends, like the hag and vampires, were brought in to explain taboo sexual activity.

In modern times, sexual spirits have taken a bit of a back seat to other phenomena such as ghosts and possessions. Still, we have seen several landmark cases where a sexual aspect exists. The Doris Bither case (fictionalized in the classic film The Entity) is probably the best known. In that case there was absolutely no seduction, and much as seen in the film, the assaults did not happen from out of sleep, but rather when Bither (named Carla Moran in the film) was wide awake. The details of the case are covered quite well over at Ghost Theory.

The Entity

This is also a place where paranormal theory begins to blur between what some would call “ghosts” and what others would call “demons.” While nobody was described as “possessed” in the Bither case, the activity could hardly be described as “ghostly” either. Despite the lights and other phenomena, and Bither’s description of the entities as “Asian men,” the activity matches the malevolence of demonic power, not the stuff of what we’d call ghosts.

In the case in Kenya, it’s referenced that many or most in that region are “rearing a djinn for financial success.” For those unfamiliar, “djinn” is the Islamic word for demon. The inference is that families are making deals with demons to achieve financial success. In demonology, we understand that is just an incredibly stupid thing to do. When inviting such forces into your life in trade, you don’t have control over what you trade… or that the forces will keep their side of the bargain.

Are these people paying for their deals with the sexual abuse of their daughters? Is this string of incidents in Kenya just a cover-up for sexual abuse or extramarital affairs in a staunchly Islamic and superstitious culture? If these events are sometimes real, are the otherworldly perpetrators demonic in nature? Given the centuries of similar stories from different cultures, can all instances of sexual contact from paranormal sources be explained away? Let us know your thoughts on this complex issue!

The Gasp Menagerie

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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